Black Crow

Heresy 195 and the Mists of Time

404 posts in this topic

Everyone is assuming they have the full list of names.  I don't think they do.  Sam says "we say that you're the nine hundred and ninety-eighth Lord Commander of the Night's Watch" which implies some doubt.  Would Sam have any doubt if he had 998 names?  

We continually see numbers with each Lord Commander,  which is why I suspect the list merely started with a Lord Commander listed as #674 with no previous names.  This implies the list was actually started during the Andale invasion,  and is the only set of circumstances that fits with what Sam said. 

If this is the case, Jon is commander in the mid 300s,  and The LongNight could have been as recent as 3000 years ago. 

Edited by Brad Stark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I said earlier you need to look at the passage in its entirety:

The oldest histories we have were written after the Andals came to Westeros. The First Men only left us runes on rocks, so everything we think we know about the Age of Heroes and the Dawn Age and the Long Night comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later. There are archmaesters at the Citadel who question all of it. The old histories are full of kings who reigned for hundreds of years, and knights riding around a thousand years before there were knights. You know the tales, Brandon the Builder, Symeon Star-eyes, Knight’s King…we say that you’re the nine-hundred-and-ninety-eighth Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, but the oldest list I’ve found shows six hundred seventy-four commanders, which suggests that it was written during-“

The oldest list is also by definition the shortest one since any later ones will have the 674 names plus those who served later. What worries Sam is the fact that there are so many names on the earliest list which means that it comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later. Whether some or all of the names come from runes, he's warning that its on a par with all the other old histories.

There's no need to speculate that the list "started with a Lord Commander listed as #674", the text stands as written by GRRM.

The list Sam found has 674 lord commanders on it but it stretches back into a very dodgy antiquity, which is why Sam doubts it and the fact that GRRM gave us this passage as a Sam POV in A Feast for Crows and then repeated it in a Jon POV in Dance with Dragons emphasises the importance of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, aDanceWithFlagons said:

Lost almost all of my post. Here's the short of it.

The prophecy of Azor reborn is written in books from 5,000 years or more past. The Valyrian Freehold began around 5,000 years ago. At least that long ago for the Long Night if the numbers are true.

Adjacent thoughts - Did the dragon wielding Valyrians grow directly out of the darkness of the Long Night ? A long, cold and dark spell should cause people to seek out other means and places for light, warmth, food, and shelter. Not to mention random craziness. Could it be that in those dark times the shepherding Valyrians looked underground to stumble upon the dragons or dragon eggs? Then eventually came out of the darkness on top of the world? 

Might be that all the numbers don't add up, but I think it's more important that the sequence is set in order. 

 

Its also worth noting that the AA prophecy appears to be contemporary with the destruction of the old Ghiscari empire by the Valyrians and their dragons, which would also be consistent with AA destroying what sounds like a dragon,

We may be mistaken in assuming a see-saw effect with Ice and Fire breaking loose first with a Winter and then a Summer. Perhaps both break loose together as the magic pressure gauge blows off. I've suggested before that the "time of great darkness" might be as much metaphorical as literal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

As I said earlier you need to look at the passage in its entirety:

The oldest histories we have were written after the Andals came to Westeros. The First Men only left us runes on rocks, so everything we think we know about the Age of Heroes and the Dawn Age and the Long Night comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later. There are archmaesters at the Citadel who question all of it. The old histories are full of kings who reigned for hundreds of years, and knights riding around a thousand years before there were knights. You know the tales, Brandon the Builder, Symeon Star-eyes, Knight’s King…we say that you’re the nine-hundred-and-ninety-eighth Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, but the oldest list I’ve found shows six hundred seventy-four commanders, which suggests that it was written during-“

The oldest list is also by definition the shortest one since any later ones will have the 674 names plus those who served later. What worries Sam is the fact that there are so many names on the earliest list which means that it comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later. Whether some or all of the names come from runes, he's warning that its on a par with all the other old histories.

There's no need to speculate that the list "started with a Lord Commander listed as #674", the text stands as written by GRRM.

The list Sam found has 674 lord commanders on it but it stretches back into a very dodgy antiquity, which is why Sam doubts it and the fact that GRRM gave us this passage as a Sam POV in A Feast for Crows and then repeated it in a Jon POV in Dance with Dragons emphasises the importance of that.

The list Sam found "shows 674 lord commanders".  GRRM never says the list has 674 lord commanders.  And again, the oldest list is only the shortest by definition if all lists include all lord commanders at the time they are written.   We may have to agree to disagree,  but Sam's action makes no sense if he found a list with 674 lord commanders on it, as such a list would not be unusual or unexpected in any way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another possible anachronism is the destruction of the records of the Nights King.   If he really lived 8000 years ago, the only thing to destroy would be runes on rocks.  A destruction of written records 3000 years ago fits with the idea this is all a fake history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not sure I believe Valyria started 5000 years ago.  They had dragons and would have expanded quickly.   We suspect their expansion pushed the Andals to invade, which could have been 5000 years ago,  but we know the Rhoynish wars started less than 2000 years ago.  The Roman empire expanded from nothing to one of the largest in history in under 500 years, and they didn't have dragons. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

Another possible anachronism is the destruction of the records of the Nights King.   If he really lived 8000 years ago, the only thing to destroy would be runes on rocks.  A destruction of written records 3000 years ago fits with the idea this is all a fake history.

There really is no way of knowing if there is any truth to the tale of the Night's King.  It could very well be a boogeyman tale to try and scare Night's Watch recruits from dreams of forming a Night's Watch kingdom, or from hooking up with strange, women who hang out around the Wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

There really is no way of knowing if there is any truth to the tale of the Night's King.  It could very well be a boogeyman tale to try and scare Night's Watch recruits from dreams of forming a Night's Watch kingdom, or from hooking up with strange, women who hang out around the Wall.

Given how often we've read about The Nights King, we can assume the story will be relevant.   That doesn't imply it actually happened,  and certainly not that it happened as told. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

The list Sam found "shows 674 lord commanders".  GRRM never says the list has 674 lord commanders.  And again, the oldest list is only the shortest by definition if all lists include all lord commanders at the time they are written.   We may have to agree to disagree,  but Sam's action makes no sense if he found a list with 674 lord commanders on it, as such a list would not be unusual or unexpected in any way.

We're not in disagreement that the list is spurious.

Where we part company is that the text as written tells us exactly why Sam is [rightly] unhappy with it; there is no need for elaborate theories unsupported by the text. As the story is written there's no reason to doubt that the list stretches back to the beginning and is the basis for the belief that Lord Snow had 997 predecessors. Sam is questioning the accuracy of the content, not its completeness or otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

Given how often we've read about The Nights King, we can assume the story will be relevant.   That doesn't imply it actually happened,  and certainly not that it happened as told. 

Err... I think he's mentioned twice. Bran recalls Old Nan's story when he and the Scooby Gang are exploring the Nightfort, and there's also another reference later which associates him with the Night Fort. And that's about it. Notwithstanding speculation in these pages and of course his starring. but uncanonical role in the mummers' version, he really doesn't figure much in the story at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a slight tangent since you mentioned the Nights King in the mummers version...I wanted to point out that I believe the role of the white walkers is akin to priests. If you draw a parallel between the ironborn believers that are drowned and resuscitated with the dead beyond the Wall that rise as wights, the role of Aeron and other priests of the Drowned God religion provide the breath of life, whereas (it is suspected) the white walkers bring the cold air which "resuscitates" the wights.

Returning back to the list of LC's...wouldn't you agree if it's written on paper that it was written by Andals? They wouldn't have known how to read ruins, but surely they can count the list of carved ruins, and by talking with men that were already at the Wall they could determine that the first LC name put to paper would be number 325.

Edited by Feather Crystal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

I am not sure I believe Valyria started 5000 years ago.  They had dragons and would have expanded quickly.   We suspect their expansion pushed the Andals to invade, which could have been 5000 years ago,  but we know the Rhoynish wars started less than 2000 years ago.  The Roman empire expanded from nothing to one of the largest in history in under 500 years, and they didn't have dragons. 

Storm of Swords 23 [Danaerys 2]

Old Ghis had fallen five thousand years ago, if she remembered true, its legions shattered by the might of young Valyria...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Returning back to the list of LC's...wouldn't you agree if it's written on paper that it was written by Andals? They wouldn't have known how to read ruins, but surely they can count the list of carved ruins, and by talking with men that were already at the Wall they could determine that the first LC name put to paper would be number 325.

Paper, or perhaps more likely parchment, but the stories which come down to us are far more elaborate than anything written in runes. More to the point perhaps there is nowhere a mention of a mighty monument on which is carved the name  of each successive lord commander. The list, like all mediaeval king lists will have been cobbled together from scraps of information and a bit of oral memory bound together with a bit of guesswork and imagination to fill the gaps and pretend to distinguish between all the different Brandons and Osrics and Uncle Tom Cobleighs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Its also worth noting that the AA prophecy appears to be contemporary with the destruction of the old Ghiscari empire by the Valyrians and their dragons, which would also be consistent with AA destroying what sounds like a dragon,

We may be mistaken in assuming a see-saw effect with Ice and Fire breaking loose first with a Winter and then a Summer. Perhaps both break loose together as the magic pressure gauge blows off. I've suggested before that the "time of great darkness" might be as much metaphorical as literal.

Take this with a grain of salt, but according to the Worldbook, that Azor Ahai prophecy predates the Valyrian empire:

Quote

It is also written that there are annals in Asshai of such a darkness, and of a hero who fought against it with a red sword. His deeds are said to have been performed before the rise of Valyria, in the earliest age when Old Ghis was first forming its empire. This legend has spread west from Asshai, and the followers of R’hllor claim that this hero was named Azor Ahai, and prophesy his return.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noted, and of course the legend has spread west from Asshai rather than the other way around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And just to be naughtie - the Heart of Darkness lies in Asshai.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think timelines may be so divergent because the reckoning of time suffered not just once, when the seasons were knocked off kilter, but again during the Long Night. I think the solar year becoming uncoupled from the seasons, forcing reliance on stellar calendars might go a long towards explaining the confusion and a few decades of darkness could plausibly seal the deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

LOL! Yes of course my lightbringing friend. :cheers:

I'm pretty sure I quoted that same passage to you several times o'er the years when attempting to convey my thoughts as to redness of Dawn's burning. :fencing:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Noted, and of course the legend has spread west from Asshai rather than the other way around.

My general take is that the Azor Ahai is an Asshai prophecy

The prince that was promised is a Rhoynish prophecy

And The Dragon has Three Heads, is either a Valyrian belief or a strictly Targaryen idea.

Aemon and Rhaegar seem much more invested in the Prince that Was Promised prophecy and The Dragon has Three Heads.  I think this may be a combination of their Targaryena and Martell heritage.  Aemon seems to believe that there is a parallel between Azor Ahai and the Prince that Was Promised (perhaps both figures were prophecized to be a central figure in an upcoming war against a Long Night, so Aemon conflates the two).  While perhaps he believes that The Dragon is the way to bring about this messiah, assuming he must be a dragonrider, or perhaps a dragon with a the consciousness of a Targaryen.

On an aside, I have previously scoffed at your idea of Rhaegar's crowning of Lyanna as a political maneuver that seriously backfired.  After having read the tourney in Ivanhoe, and specifically the attempt that Prince John makes in influencing the crowning of Love and Beauty as a move to score political points, I take it back.  I think you are on to something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not certain "Dragon has Three Heads" is prophecy.  Aegon the Conqueror had 3 dragons with riders.  It could be a custom,  just how dragonriders fight, or a tribute to him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.